Date of Award

Spring 1964

Document Type




First Advisor

Thomas Clinch


Samuel Thomas Hauser was perhaps one the most representative territorial governors Montana ever had, despite the fact that the duties of office distracted him from his own affairs. He was not a man to yield up a public trust in which the people of Montana almost unanimously desired he should maintain. "No man in the territory has at heart more directly the interest of his people than Governor Hauser. He will even go to the point of antagonizing his own party for the benefit of the people, No man in the territory can not respect him for his independence.Other Montanans had amassed more wealth; still others had been given more lasting recognition by the people of Montana. "But it is reasonable to claim that the acts of none did more to help Montana get on her feet, when it was a young and unstable territory, as did the activities of Samuel T. Hauser."2 Samuel T. Hauser was one of the best known and loved citizens of Montana. This popularity extended back to 1862 when he arrived at Gold Creek. Hauser saw the early potentialities of Montana and capitalized on them. He brought money into the territory, helping the region to become a more self-sufficient area.

Hauser did not personally engage in mining activities, but he was one of the men who explored for new lodes. He was primarily a business man interested in the new territory of Montana. In 1865 he and Nathaniel P. Langford started the first ban# in Virginia City, the S.T. Hauser Company. Hauser continued in banking, moving to Helena in 1866, where he founded the First National Bank in Helena as well as its brandies in Butte, Fort Benton, and Missoula. Samuel Hauser was a citizen of Montana. His business activities not only filled his own nurse, but they also aided the financial condition of the territory.. Hauser took the lead in backing railroad construction and urging railroads to enter into the territory. He managed to persuade John W. Young to run the Utah and Northern Railroad line into Montana. By 1881 this line was running to Butte.3 Hauser did not center his interest on only this one railroad. He wanted rail service for the entire territory. Hauser was the president or on the board of directors for seven short-line Montana railroads: the Montana branch of the Utah and Northern, the Helena and Jefferson County, the Helena and Bounder Valley, the Helena Red Mountain, the Helena Northern, the Drummon and Phillipsburg, and the Missoula and Bitter Root Valley.